(245a) Wood-Based Biorefinery: An Update On the ESF Technology

Amidon, T. E., State University of New York
Liu, S., SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

The SUNY ESF biorefinery, a hardwood focused water-based technology, includes five main components or essential elements, namely: 1) hot-water extraction; 2) hydrolysis of hot-water extracts; 3) fractionation of hydrolyzates or wood extracts; 4) conversion of five- and six-carbon sugars to ethanol, butanol, bioplastics, or other products; 5a) pulping of hot-water extracted woodchips followed by bleaching and papermaking; 5b) burning of the hot-water extracted residual chips and organics for CHP use; 5c) pelletizing the hot-water extracted residual chips together with the lignin separated from wood extracts; or 5d) production of fiber board from the hot-water extracted woody biomass. Hot-water extraction in the absence of mineral acids and bases is preferred due to its ability to maintain high product values. Extraction and hydrolysis produce xylo-oligomers, acetic acid, sugars, and other trace compounds. The production of acetic acid makes the process autocatalytic as acid catalyzes extraction and hydrolysis. Membrane fractionation can be applied to purify and concentrate sugars and acetic acid. There is an enhancement in manufacturing processes and several products based the extracted chips, most notably in pulping and bleaching processes. Therefore water based technology is preferred for a wood based biorefinery.